Monday, September 29, 2014

Green Snake

I have a feeling that even people who aren’t fond of snakes can’t help feeling kindly towards a cute little snake of green.  I found this Rough Green Snake when I revisited the Sycamore that yielded so many caterpillars a couple of weeks ago.

It was caterpillars that I was actually looking for.  At the time of the snake discovery, I was taking a close look at this Drab Prominent caterpillar.

I lifted my eyes from the caterpillar and on a branch just a few feet away was the snake.  Green Snakes are insect eaters and hairless caterpillars are readily consumed.  The snake and I may have been looking in this tree for the same reason.

The Rough Green Snake is the only species of green snake likely to be in this area.  Even so, on the rare occasions that I find one of these snakes, I like to verify the ID by checking the scales on the snake’s back.  The scales of the Rough Green Snake are divided by a slight ridge.  The ridges align to form faint stripes running the length of the snake.  They also give the snake its rough feel that earned it its name.

This snake is typically found in the trees and is remarkably adept at moving about through the branches.  It must have remarkable balance and muscle control.

It moves along a narrow branch as if it were traversing level ground.

If it desires a higher elevation, it just lifts its head and goes up.

It’s like a snake mime hitting an invisible wall.

The head just continues to ascend.

Finally the snake connects with the petiole of a grape leaf and begins to slide its body along the narrow stem.

The diameter of the grape vine is smaller than that of the snake, but the snake proceeds along this new avenue without complication.

Up and away, the snake climbs out of my range.  

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